Week 9: Scouting the North Suburban

Daily Herald report
Updated 10/20/2016 6:31 PM

Stevenson Patriots (7-1, 6-0) at Warren Blue Devils (4-4, 4-2)

When: 7:30 p.m., Friday


Last week: Stevenson def. Waukegan, 36-7; Warren def. Zion-Benton, 41-33.

Skinny: Both of these teams have something important to play for. Stevenson, already the North Suburban Conference champion, can run the table in league play and finish with a perfect 7-0 record. Meanwhile, Warren can stay alive in the race for the playoffs with a win. The Blue Devils need to get that important fifth victory in order to have a chance to qualify for the playoffs on points. And chances of that are favorable. Warren has 40 playoff points entering Week 9, tied for third-most among all 5-win and 4-win teams in Class 8A…Warren is on a roll, having won three straight games and four of its last five; but then again, so is Stevenson. The Patriots have won seven straight games after a loss in the season opener to Palatine…Stevenson boasts a high-powered offense that ranks No. 1 in the North Suburban in scoring at 34.6 ppg. Even with starting quarterback Aidan O'Connell out nursing a shoulder injury, the Patriots rolled up 386 yards of offense last week against Waukegan. Backup quarterback Grayson Kubow completed 15-of-25 passes for 288 yards 3 touchdowns. As in many games this season for Stevenson, twin brothers Henry and Michael Marchese each caught a touchdown pass last week…Warren is coming off of one of its most prolific offensive productions of the season. The Blue Devils netted 538 total yards against Zion-Benton. Running back Melvin Pettis rolled up 124 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns on 25 carries. Quarterback Ian Schilling threw just 7 passes but 2 of them were for touchdowns to Jalin Tolbert (3 catches, 96 yards). Schilling finished with 105 passing yards.

Mundelein Mustangs (2-6, 1-5) at Lake Zurich Bears (6-2, 5-1)

When: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Last week: Mundelein lost to Lake Forest, 33-0; Lake Zurich def. Libertyville, 24-8.

Skinny: Lake Zurich, which has won five of its last six games, has made the playoffs and is now playing for seeding…The Bears continue to boast one of the best defenses in the area, allowing just 12.1 points per game, fewest in the North Suburban Conference. Of Lake Zurich's last four opponents, three have scored 8 points or less…Of course, none of this is good news for Mundelein, which has struggled offensively lately. The Mustangs have been shutout in their last two games (28-0 vs. Libertyville, 33-0 vs. Lake Forest). They are averaging only 14.4 points per game, second fewest in the North Suburban…Quarterback Evan Lewandowski is coming off a big game last week for Lake Zurich. He completed 9-of-17 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown to Matthijs Enters (2 catches 51 yards). Receiver Jarred Winandy hauled in 3 passes for 65 yards…Mundelein quarterback Anthony Norris passed for 76 yards and the Mustangs' only touchdown last week.

Libertyville Wildcats (4-4, 3-3) at Zion-Benton Zee-Bees (3-5, 2-4)

When: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Last week: Libertyville lost to Lake Zurich, 24-8; Zion-Benton lost to Warren, 41-33.

Skinny: Libertyville wants to at least have a chance. The Wildcats need to win this game to get their fifth win and have a chance to qualify for the playoffs on points. Chances are, though, Libertyville will have an uphill battle even with that fifth win. The Wildcats enter this game with 35 playoff points, and that ranks them near the bottom of all Class 7A teams in a similar position. Of the 19 teams in Class 7A with four or five wins entering Week 9, 13 of them have more playoff points than Libertyville…Libertyville has had a tough stretch, losing three of its last four games. Zion-Benton is in a similar position, having lost four of its last five games…Libertyville, which boasts one of the best defenses in the North Suburban, will try to keep down one of the best offenses in the league. The Wildcats allow just 18.3 points per game, second-fewest in the conference. Meanwhile, Zion-Benton averages 33.3 points per game, second-most in the league…Libertyville managed just 9 first downs and 162 total yards last week against Lake Zurich's stingy defense. Quarterback Jack Ruskell passed for the Wildcats' only touchdown (to Brandon Rule). He completed 12-of-22 passes for 127 yards…Zion-Benton quarterback DeAndre Green is coming off a big game against Warren. He completed 17-of-30 passes for 281 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also ran for a touchdown. Two of Green's touchdown passes went to his cousin, Dinario Hickman (7 catches for 115 yards).

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